COVID-19: the positive effects on our eating habits

COVID-19: des effets positifs sur nos habitudes alimentaires

The eating habits are considerably altered in the course of the pandemic, according to a web survey recently conducted on the platform InbeTM with 524 Quebecers aged 25 to 65 years. The changes are they favourable or not ? Overview of the results !

The study, conducted in collaboration with the nutritionist Isabelle Marquis, reflects the effect of the pandemic both on the purchasing habits (frequency of visits in store, detailed planning, reserves management) on the management of the budget is, for many, limited.

Eating together

More than 30 % of respondents indicate that taking the time to eat all together and cook for fun. Results which are also reflected at the national level. A Nielsen poll (Impact of Covid-19 on Consumer Behaviour Survey) conducted in April, the country found that 40% of Canadians cook more, and 21 % a lot more since the beginning of the pandemic.

From toilet paper to flour

According to Nielsen, purchases have changed since the beginning of the pandemic, in march, this is the toilet paper that was stealing the spotlight in April, what are the products for cooking (oils, spices, flours, etc). The products sold at current prices are also on the rise.

Long-lasting effects

According to the results of the survey InbeTM, submitted by Ms. Marquis at a webinar, 44 % of respondents indicate that their dietary habits have improved during the crisis.

Going out less to restaurants and cook more is seen as an improvement, remains to be validated, if the new habits will translate into an increase of the nutritional quality.

When questioned about their intentions post-COVID, the respondents indicated to want to keep some habits. They want to take the time to eat all of the world together, to eat less quickly, especially in the afternoon, taking the time to enjoy the meal. Consumers have also realized that cooking more snacks and desserts can be easier than they thought, and they intend to continue to do so. Prepare more meals at home and eating less at the restaurant also seem to be in their wishes, according to the survey. These intentions could result in a significant drop in the consumption of foods ultra-processed foods.

Storage for 10 months

The storage has had an impact on the supply chain and a recent survey indicates that 52% of Canadians are concerned about food shortages in the coming months (Global Survey to shed light on how consumer sentiment and behavior are impacted by the Coronavirus-Wave 2 2020). This same survey reveals that 18 % of the respondents indicated that the time period for products purchased in the beginning of the pandemic could stretch to 10 months.

Less ready-to-eat

According to the survey, the selection of ready-to-eat have less attraction for the consumer who prefers to cook his own meals. If the online sales of lunches have experienced a significant increase, the radius of the ready-to-eat grocery stores experienced a decline. Sales of granola bars have also fallen, the people preferring to cook their snacks themselves. In store, we cannot fail to note that the significant increases in sales are linked to commodities (flour, sugar, yeast, canned goods, and frozen vegetables and fruits).

The e-commerce business growth

The COVID has significantly modified our shopping habits. There has been a significant growth in online sales. New consumers now do their shopping and the shopping cart way is up. For the consumer, quick shipping, and deliver safe food products are the two most important factors in their purchase decision. Moreover, several platforms of online sales have seen the light of day recently, in which Maturin and My Area of Quebec. The craze for local products, encouraging consumers to navigate further on these shopping platforms online.

Nutri Quebec : Better understand the habits in the time of a pandemic

A team of researchers, under the coordination of Dr. Benoît Lamarche, scientific director of the Centre for research on Nutrition, health and society, Université Laval, is studying the impact of the pandemic on the dietary habits, physical activity, and the sleep of Quebec. Bringing together more than 2500 participants, the current study will help to better understand the impacts of such a health crisis and to better guide decision-makers in the event of another similar situation.

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